It was announced today that Princess Eugenie, younger daughter of the Duke of York and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, is engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank. The couple are due to wed this autumn at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor – the same venue at which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in May.
Eugenie is yet another member of the Royal Family who lives at Kensington Palace. Like Harry, she lives in a small residence on the grounds (Ivy Cottage), however it remains to be seen whether she and Brooksbank will eventually move to larger apartments after they are married.
The couple have been together for seven years, according to reports, and met through Harry. This last bit is somewhat ironic considering that Harry met his last serious girlfriend before Meghan through Eugenie. And it all comes full circle.
The engagement took place earlier this month in Nicaragua and to commemorate the news official photos of the pair taken in the picture gallery at Buckingham Palace were released. Eugenie is wearing a floral Erdem dress that she already owned and a pair of black satin Jimmy Choo heels. Her ring is a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds, not unlike the shape of the Duchess of Cambridge’s and the color of her mother’s ring debuted in 1986.
No further details on timing have been released, but apparently Windsor is going to get quite the workout this year. It’s unlikely that this wedding, unlike Harry and Meghan’s, will be televised.
Eugenie has been rumored to be engaged for well over a year now, particularly once she settled in London at KP. The timing of the news is interesting as it comes on the heels of Harry’s engagement and reminds me of the Princess Royal’s daughter, Zara, announcing her own engagement in December 2010, one month after William and Kate. Their wedding, in July 2011 in Scotland, was much smaller and more private, but I always had a feeling that she either planned to take advantage of the shadow the Cambridges cast or it was a happy accident.
Likely this timing wasn’t premeditated since the couple opted for St. George’s – that’s not exactly the low-profile course. Even so, it’s a little funny that our royal weddings have ended up clumped together twice now. The couple chose to do a television interview with the BBC this evening, which strikes me (once again) as a strange choice given that they absolutely could have gotten away with not doing one.
Update 1: Reporter Richard Palmer shared some more fodder re: the proposal on Twitter:
Update 2: It’s unclear how the couple will be styled after the wedding, though unlikely that Brooksbank will be given a title after Prince Andrew denied lobbying for his future sons-in-law to receive them at the end of 2016. There are now theories floating around out there that Eugenie might use her wedding as an opportunity to drop her HRH given that she will not serve as a full-time working royal. It may make her life easier, though it would look a bit strange if her sister, Princess Beatrice, retained hers. We shall see, but at the end of the day she won’t be the first princess of the blood to marry a commoner.